The boss’s calendar

Question: I work for a company of about 1,700 employees, spread out among about 50 different locations around the U.S. and the world. My boss is a director of the largest finance department of the company, and is constantly needed in various teleconferences. He depends greatly on his Outlook calendar to keep him informed of what’s going on, but it is always inaccurate. His executive assistant is the person who has access to his e-mails and to his calendar, and whose responsibility it is to keep them updated. I am an assistant secretary to her, and a project assistant for the 45 other people in our department, from whom the majority of my work comes.

One of my job responsibilities is to regularly check our various Share Point sites, through which the departments of our company work together on different projects. Meeting schedules are usually posted on these sites when they first put them up, but after that, meeting changes/announcements are made via e-mail (which I never see). My boss is constantly asking me whether or not I am completing my job duties, because he doesn’t believe that the updated meeting information has not been posted to the sites.

It is really the executive secretary’s responsibility to keep his calendar up to date, as she has the access to all of his information. However, when we have talked about this issue, she says that it’s not her fault; it’s that the people sending out the updates do not always include my boss on the “Send To” list! Additionally, three different people might send out e-mails about the same meeting, the meeting might be referred to in three different ways, and also, the time zones are not always stated and are never consistent. (So, she finds it difficult to always be on top of this).

I don’t know how to make sure that my boss’s calendar is kept properly. He seems to be blaming me, even though I have no control over or access to the information. How do I help him with his schedule, and how do I show him that I AM doing my job well? — Anonymous


You should meet with the boss and the exec assistant and discuss ways to control the meetings. If you had access to his Outlook, you could have the responsibility of keeping track of those meetings specifically and sort out the confusion for the boss. The exec assistant may appreciate the help and it will show that you are indeed doing your job and being proactive!

If you are using Outlook and are networked in all your locations, why don’t you have your IT Dept set up a system calendar in the public folder area of your Outlook. We use that and even record vacations so that when meetings are being planned you can easily see, on a system level, any large meetings that are taking place. You could even have a separate calendar for separate departments with in your company. Works very well.

You might create a Send To distribution list that contains all of the members of these meetings, including your boss, and send it out to them asking that they only use the list when sending out their e-mails regarding these meetings.

In addition, there should be a CC distribution list for all assistants or secretaries which you should be a part of since he continues to ask you instead of his assistant that these updates are being completed.

Also ask to be a reviewer or editor on your boss’calendar and you can see if these updates are being made.